‘El Chapo’ Guzman will be Mexican President Pena Nieto’s legacy

July 20, 2015

7/20/15 BBC News

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

It was either anger or laughter. But it was humour that won out, at least for the first 24 hours.

Pretty soon, fake selfies appeared on social media showing El Chapo outside Trump Tower smiling. A dig, of course, at businessman Donald Trump who outraged Mexicans recently when he said those who came to the US were “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists”.

Sarcasm and dark humour are what seem to be getting Mexicans through these difficult times.

And these times are excruciating for President Enrique Pena Nieto too.

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Mapping Mexico’s deadly drug war

July 1, 2015

07/01/15 Science

mexican drugsOn 11 December 2006, former Mexican President Felipe Calderón deployed troops to fight the country’s increasingly powerful drug cartels, plunging Mexico into a war in which more than 100,000 people have been killed or disappeared. Now, a new study uses statistics and complex networks analysis to reveal the patterns by which violence spread across the country between 2007 and 2011—the last year for which records are available. The results may contribute to the debate about how effective the government’s policy of attacking cartel leaders has been in reducing violence, experts say.

This approach “represents an attempt to reveal the actual dynamics of drug violence [and demonstrates] how the conflict actually unfolds and evolves,” says Michael Lawrence, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo in Canada, whose work has focused on the application of complexity science to issues of conflict and security and who was not involved in the research.

Discover the innovative maps and read more…


Shootout in Mexico’s Embattled Jalisco State Leaves 8 Dead

May 21, 2015

5/20/2015 InSight Crime

InSightLogo_main_24bitA shootout between Mexico‘s federal police and alleged criminals has left at least eight dead in Jalisco state, in what could be a harbinger of more violence as security forces intensify their offensive against the Jalisco Cartel.

The gunfight took place on May 18 in the municipality of Villa Purificacion, the same town where the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) shot down a military helicopter using a rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG) earlier this month, reported Reuters.

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Fragmenting Criminal Gangs: Mexico Follows Colombia

May 19, 2015

5/18/2015 InSight Crime

InSightLogo_main_24bitMexico’s security situation is looking increasingly like that of Colombia several years ago —  indicating that it might be possible to predict the future of Mexico‘s criminal groups based on what Colombia’s underworld is like now.

A new report by El Universal outlines how each of Mexico‘s largest criminal organizations has fractured in recent years, due to the capture or killing of high-profile leaders, as well as internal rivalries.

The report, based on information from Mexico‘s Attorney General’s Office (PGR), states that there are nine cartels now operating in the country, and an additional 45 criminal cells that work for these larger organizations, carrying out activities ranging from gasoline theft to extortion to kidnapping. These numbers were previously obtained from the PGR last year by Mexican newspaper Excelsior.

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Drug Cartel Violence Flares Again in Northern Mexico State

April 24, 2015

Reuters, 4/23/2015

gun - crime sceneDrug cartel violence in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state flared up for the second time in a week on Wednesday, with gun battles and arson attacks erupting in the street after police captured four alleged drug gang members.

The detainees, whose identity is still unknown, are from the Gulf Cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug trafficking groups, also known for kidnappings and immigrant trafficking.

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NEW PUBLICATION: Violence and Insecurity in Guerrero

February 5, 2015

By Chris Kyle

Resilient Communities Series15This paper is a continuation of the series Building Resilient Communities in Mexico: Civic Responses to Crime and Violence, a multiyear effort by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego to analyze the obstacles to and opportunities for improving citizen security in Mexico.

Insecurity and violence associated with organized criminal activity are pervasive in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero.  The state’s homicide rate is the highest in the country and extortion and kidnapping are commonplace.  For perpetrators, there is near complete impunity.  The state is divided into territories within which either drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) or community policing networks exercise control over local policing functions.  Local, state, or federal authorities occasionally join this competition, but for the most part policing powers are held by others.  In rural areas competition between groups of traffickers over the state’s prodigious narcotics output has created violent no-man’s-lands in buffer zones between territories controlled by rival groups.  In cities violence is mostly a byproduct of efforts to establish and preserve monopolies in extortion, kidnapping, and retail contraband markets.  Despite claims to the contrary by state and federal authorities, there has been no discernible improvement in public security in recent months or years.

Restraining the violence in Guerrero will require that state authorities make a systematic effort to address two existing realities that sustain the criminal activities producing violence.  Thus, this paper examines the security situation in the state of Guerrero, including the operation of drug trafficking organizations, and proposes possible solutions to the security crisis.

Read the paper here.


New Report Examines Tamaulipas Security Strategy

February 2, 2015

1/27/2015 InSight Crime

A report from a prominent think tank tackles the new security strategy in Tamaulipas, one of Mexico‘s perennially conflictive northern states. 

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute published Plan Tamaulipas: A New Security Strategy for a Troubled State in October of last year. Written by Christopher Wilson and Eugenio Weigend, the report analyzes a new security program launched by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government in May 2014.

The new strategy came amid a period of prolonged conflict between the two major criminal groups controlling the region, allies turned enemies the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. The plan for Tamaulipas is based on three pillars: the dismantling of existing criminal groups; the elimination of smuggling routes, whether for cash and arms coming into Mexico or for drugs and undocumented migrants heading to the US; and the construction of “sufficient, efficient, and reliable” security agencies at the local level.

Read more…

Read the report here. 


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